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how_to_prepare_to_enroll_in_the_covid_19_vaccination_programHow to Prepare to Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination ProgramLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/October/how_to_prepare_to_enroll_in_the_covid_19_vaccination_program<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/May/COVID-19-Response-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="COVID-19 Response logo" /> </div> <h5>October 28, 2020</h5> <h2> How to Prepare to Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program </h2> <p> The Washington State Department of Health is rapidly preparing a COVID-19 vaccine response to be ready as soon as a safe and effective vaccine is available. As part of this effort, the DOH is developing an online tool for physicians and providers to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in order to administer and order vaccines. Physician enrollment is expected to begin in November. To prepare for enrollment, the DOH asks that you review the following materials to ensure you take the necessary steps in anticipation of the vaccine’s availability. </p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/348-768-PreparingEnrollment_COVID19VaccineProvider.pdf" target="_blank">Preparing to Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/698-001-ProvidersAuthorizedVaccineAdministration.pdf" target="_blank">Providers Authorized to Administer and Order Vaccines</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/PreparingEnrollment_COVID19VaccineProvider_SlideDeck.pdf" target="_blank">Preparing to Enroll Slide Deck</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/PreparationChecklist_COVID19VaccineProvider.pdf" target="_blank">COVID-19 Program Provider Preparation Checklist</a> </li> </ul> <p> If you have questions about the enrollment process, contact the COVID-19 Vaccine Response Team at <a href="mailto:covid.vaccine@doh.wa.gov">covid.vaccine@doh.wa.gov</a>. </p> </div>10/28/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
general_election_ballots_are_here_time_to_voteGeneral Election Ballots Are Here - Time to Vote!Latest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201022/general_election_ballots_are_here_time_to_vote<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/October/King-Co-Ballot-645x425px.png" class="pull-right" alt="Ballot envelopes" /> </div> <h5>October 22, 2020</h5> <h2>General Election Ballots Are Here - Time to Vote!</h2> <p> Ballots for the general election on Nov. 3 were mailed on Oct. 16 - and likely arrived in your mailbox earlier this week. As a reminder, online or mail voter registration must be received eight days before Election Day on Oct. 26. </p> <p> While filling out your ballot, make sure to have your WAMPAC Legislator Report Card, included as part of the 2020 WSMA Legislative Report, nearby for reference. The report card shows how state lawmakers voted on key WSMA priority bills in 2019 and 2020, on issues such as the business and occupation tax increase, telemedicine payment parity, prior authorization, and more. If you don't have the report card handy, <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=269c3c03-cf72-4568-be5b-7893557300a7">download it from the WSMA website</a>. </p> <p> With the election season in its final stretch, consider a donation to WAMPAC - there's still time to take advantage of our special election cycle $100 membership rate offer to join the WAMPAC Diamond Club. You'll receive all of the perks of club membership, while supporting the PAC that supports you. <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx">Join the club today</a>. </p> </div>10/22/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
governors_proposed_edits_to_non_urgent_procedures_proclamation_problematic_to_care_deliveryGovernor's Proposed Edits to Non-Urgent Procedures Proclamation Problematic to Care DeliveryLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201022/governors_proposed_edits_to_non_urgent_procedures_proclamation_problematic_to_care_delivery<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/October/Doc-Patient-Exam-Room-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Doctor and patient in exam room" /> </div> <h5>October 22, 2020</h5> <h2>Governor's Proposed Edits to Non-Urgent Procedures Proclamation Problematic to Care Delivery</h2> <p> The WSMA has been alerted to proposed changes to Gov. Jay Inslee's <a href="http://takeaction.wsma.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/20_241_covid_19_non_urgent_medical_procedures_ext_.pdf" target="_blank">Proclamation 20-24.1</a>, "Reducing Restrictions on, and Safe Expansion of, Non-Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures." The new requirements are potentially problematic to medicine, both in the hospital and ambulatory settings. </p> <p> Some examples: </p> <ul> <li>The prior proclamation allowed non-urgent procedures to be performed if their postponement would cause harm. While the definition of harm remains in the proclamation, the language that creates the exception has been removed in the new draft.</li> <li>The draft proclamation imposes new administrative requirements for practices, including stipulating there be weekly meetings between management and employees to review personal protective equipment procedures and supplies, as well as the creation of a formal employee feedback process to gather input regarding care delivery, PPE, and "technology availability."</li> <li>The draft proclamation relies on external directives, orders, requirements, and guidance from multiple state and federal agencies that are not in agreement on important issues. It also points to guidance that is still under discussion. Washington State Department of Labor and Industry and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements are a maze of complex regulations that are not specific to the current environment created by the pandemic, and are not as succinct as Washington State Department of Health guidance now well understood by the industry due to adherence to the current proclamation.</li> <li>The requirements in the draft proclamation have the potential to deplete the state's supply of N95s, which will lead to major access challenges for a variety of serious health issues. Physicians and providers are called to treat a wide variety of health conditions, not just COVID-19. We have adequate conservation guidelines on PPE use produced through thoughtful stakeholder engagement that ensures the safety of health care workers and patients should supplies be limited at any given site. This flexibility is needed to respond to any micro or macro surges in COVID-19 or any other infectious disease.</li> <li>The proclamation includes requirements that are not science-based. For example, no public health agency calls for testing 48 hours post-exposure; it is too soon.</li> <li>This version requires adherence to laws that have been waived as a result of the ongoing state and federal emergency.</li> </ul> <p> The governor's deadline for comment is Friday, Oct. 30. The WSMA has joined the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Dental Association, the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, and other physician and provider groups in urging the governor for more time to build consensus around changes that protect both health care workers and patients while not unnecessarily delaying patient care. We will keep members apprised as this develops. </p> </div>10/22/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
washington_state_releases_covid_19_vaccine_distribution_planWashington State Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution PlanLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201022/washington_state_releases_covid_19_vaccine_distribution_plan<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/October/alt%20covid%20image2-Photo%20by%20Fusion%20Medical%20Animation%20on%20Unsplash-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="COVID-19 closeup photo" /> </div> <h5>October 22, 2020</h5> <h2>Washington State Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan</h2> <p> The Washington State Department of Health has released its draft plan on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and is now seeking feedback from the public on prioritization. </p> <p> The <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/WA-COVID-19-Vaccination-Plan.pdf" target="_blank">72-page document</a> outlines how the state agency will approach the work of planning for and distributing an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine once available. The plan details specific actions the department will take, such as developing an equitable vaccine allocation, setting up strong vaccine infrastructure in the state, tracking administration data, and planning for effective communication with the public. </p> <p> The DOH submitted the draft plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Friday in response to a request from the CDC for state and territorial health departments to outline their preliminary plans for vaccine distribution. </p> <p> The department is now seeking general feedback from the public on prioritization. The agency is particularly interested in hearing from communities and sectors disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LSJZP68">Click here to take the survey</a>. Reponses are due by 11:59 p.m. this Monday, Oct. 26. </p> <p> In case you missed it, our September COVID-19 Virtual Grand Rounds webinar was dedicated to vaccine development and distribution, and featured the department's COVID-19 Vaccine Director SheAnne Allen, MPH. That webinar is available <a href="[@]WSMA/Education/Webinars_OnDemand/WSMA/Resources/Practice_Management/OnDemand/Webinars_OnDemand.aspx?hkey=53a67f34-e7a8-4b79-9463-6f51e1418ff5">on demand for WSMA members</a>. </p> </div>10/22/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_launches_flu_vaccination_campaignWSMA Launches Flu Vaccination CampaignLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201022/wsma_launches_flu_vaccination_campaign<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/October/2020-Flu-Campaign-Reverse-Social-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Flu campaign graphic" /> </div> <h5>October 22, 2020</h5> <h2>WSMA Launches Flu Vaccination Campaign</h2> <p> Facing a "twindemic" of flu and COVID-19, WSMA has launched its <em>Be Safe. Be Smart. Get Your Flu Shot.</em> patient awareness campaign. Catch up on the latest in this update. </p> <h3>Early vaccination & DOH materials</h3> <p> The campaign initially focused on early vaccination, with <a href="https://www.yakimaherald.com/opinion/editorials/guest_editorials/guest-opinion-flu-combined-with-covid-19-could-mean-double-trouble-for-many-patients/article_ee0e4545-9d8a-53f4-835f-1dca1804e916.html">several op-eds</a> and <a href="https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/sep/18/providers-public-health-officials-stress-the-impor/">news stories</a> published featuring WSMA members, and a partnership with the Washington State Department of Health to offer patient materials (in English and Spanish). The DOH toolkit, developed with input from the WSMA, is <a href="https://coronavirus.wa.gov/partner-toolkit/knock-out-flu-think-it-essential">now available</a>. The toolkit includes bilingual (English and Spanish) assets including posters/fliers, customizable postcards, social media graphics, and much more. </p> <h3>Be Safe. Be Smart. Get Your Flu Shot. campaign assets</h3> <p> The WSMA has introduced dedicated campaign webpages at <a href="http://www.wsma.org/flu">wsma.org/flu</a>. Our <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/Influenza/Influenza_For_Patients/influenza_for_patients.aspx">patient page</a> features a vaccine finder to help patients find vaccines near them and messaging emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated during the pandemic. Our <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/Influenza/Influenza_For_Physicians/influenza_for_physicians.aspx">professional resources page</a> features up-to-date flu vaccine information from the Department of Health, as well as professional and patient resources for physician practices. Newly added this week: </p> <ul> <li><a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/Resources/Flu/2020-Flu-Campaign-green-background-645x425px.jpg]"><em>Be Safe. Be Smart. Get Your Flu Shot. </em>social media graphic</a> </li> <li><a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/Resources/Flu/2020-Flu-Campaign-Memo-Ad-600x125px.jpg]"><em>Be Safe. Be Smart. Get Your Flu Shot. </em>banner graphic</a> (for email, websites, other digital communications) </li> </ul> <p> We'll be introducing new resources and assets in the weeks ahead - stay tuned. </p> <h3>Media and public service announcements</h3> <p> In the weeks ahead, together with more targeted media outreach statewide, the WSMA will produce a series of 30-second public service announcements featuring WSMA members speaking directly to their patients, leveraging the trust patients have in their family doctors. We'll post these PSAs throughout our digital channels, as well as distribute to our partners. </p> <p> Keep track of updates on our efforts at <a href="http://www.wsma.org/flu">wsma.org/flu</a>. And help "boost our signal" by following us on social media and amplifying our flu messaging. Find the WSMA on <a href="https://twitter.com/WSMA_update">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wsma.org/">Facebook</a>, and <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/washington-state-medical-association">LinkedIn</a>. </p> </div>10/22/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_october_16_2020_together_we_are_an_oceanWeekly Rounds: October 16, 2020 - Together We Are an OceanLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_october_16_2020_together_we_are_an_ocean<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>October 16, 2020</h5> <h2>Together We Are an Ocean</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> While there are tempered signs of hope for a COVID-19 vaccine, we are far from out of the woods from the economic destruction that the pandemic has inflicted on our communities and our practices. As we move into fall, the WSMA continues to make financial stability a primary focus of our work. We need your help. As Ryunosuke Satoro wrote, "individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean." This message of unity concluded our <a href="https://vimeo.com/459169630">2020 year in review</a>, recently shown during our annual House of Delegates meeting, and serves as a précis of our work on behalf of the house of medicine: By bringing together the voices of Washington state's physicians, we can move forward policies and actions that make Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. </p> <p> In the weeks ahead, we will be conducting a new practice financial health survey, as well as meeting with lawmakers in Olympia to discuss how the physician community is faring. More to come on those items, but for now, we need your help on the following: </p> <h3>Contact your congressional representatives to stop payment cuts</h3> <p> We <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_august_7_2020_the_good_and_the_bad_of_proposed_new_cms_rule">shared in August</a> that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published the 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule, comprising numerous payment policy proposals - some of which are deeply concerning to the house of medicine. </p> <p> Most notably, CMS is restructuring and revaluing the office-based evaluation and management codes following broad changes made in 2019. While the proposal provides an increase in payments for primary care and other office-based services, the effect will result in drastic cuts - as high as 11% - to certain physician specialties. This is due to current law requiring any changes to the physician fee schedule to be budget neutral. </p> <p> H.R. 8505, introduced in Congress by Representatives Michael Burgess, MD, and Bobby Rush, would prevent pending Medicare payment cuts by waiving the budget neutrality requirements stipulated in the Social Security Act for the finalized E/M code proposal slated for implementation in January 2021. We understand other pieces of legislation are also in the works. </p> <p> The WSMA continues to express our concerns that adhering to existing budget neutrality requirements for implementing the new policy will generate sizeable cuts for various specialties. We urge you to join us in <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/urge-congressional-action-to-halt-medicare-payment-cuts/">contacting your member of Congress now</a>. Share with them that given the financial pressures many practices and medical groups are facing due to COVID-19, now is the time to implement any payment reductions. </p> <p> According to the AMA, nearly 200 members of the House of Representatives have indicated their support for mitigating the forthcoming payment cuts. Please contact your congressional representative today and urge continued collaboration and support of H.R. 8505 or another legislative remedy to stop forthcoming payment reductions generated by budget neutrality requirements. </p> <p> CMS is expected to release its final 2021 fee schedule rule by Dec. 1. </p> <h3>HHS announces additional Provider Relief Fund payments</h3> <p> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that $20 billion in new funding will be available for physicians and providers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible practitioners may apply for funding now through Friday, Nov. 6. </p> <p> Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, physicians who have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. HHS is making a large number of previously ineligible practitioners eligible for Phase 3 General Distribution funding, including: </p> <ul> <li>Physicians and providers who previously received, rejected, or accepted a General Distribution Provider Relief Fund payment. Physicians who have already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care may submit more information to become eligible for an additional payment.</li> <li>Behavioral health practitioners, including those who previously received funding and new providers.</li> <li>Physicians and health care providers who began practicing Jan. 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, dentists, assisted living facilities, and behavioral health providers.</li> </ul> <p> HHS is urging all eligible practitioners to apply early; do not wait until the last day or week of the application period. Applying early will help to expedite HHS's review process and payment calculations, and ultimately accelerate the distribution of all payments. For more information on the methodology and application process, read the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/10/1/trump-administration-announces-20-billion-in-new-phase-3-provider-relief-funding.html">press release</a>. </p> <h3>Premera PPE policy</h3> <p> Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiaries have made a determination to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines and have been allowing for separate reimbursement for personal protective equipment over the past several months when billed appropriately. Premera will be following this practice through the end of October 2020. This policy applies to dates of service on or before Nov. 1, 2020. </p> <ul> <li>For dates of service after Nov. 1, Premera will consider such supplies to be included in the standard office visit reimbursement. Premera will no longer pay separately for such equipment but will resume the prior policy of considering such equipment to be part of the services covered under standard office visit codes. PPE will no longer be reimbursed as of dates of service on Nov. 1, 2020 and after.</li> <li>Practices should correctly code for PPE using HCPCS codes (A-series of codes) for coverage of gowns and masks. Premera notes that the "A" codes typically billed for such miscellaneous supplies are: <ul> <li>A4927 - Gloves, non-sterile</li> <li>A4928 - Surgical masks</li> <li>A4930 - Gloves, sterile</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p> Practices should submit their standard charges or acquisition costs for each visit, and each contract will either have a set fee (not to exceed billed charges) or a default percentage. All other "miscellaneous codes" billed will potentially incur a "denial," not for PPE, but for other reasons. Providers can access a copy of the policy on the <a href="https://identity.onehealthport.com/EmpowerIDWebIdPForms/Login/PREMERA/">OneHealthPort website</a> (registration is required). </p> <p> Practices that were not aware of Premera's policy can be reimbursed for those PPE expenses if those charges were not included in claims already submitted. They would need to rebill per the above guidance for dates of service prior to Nov. 1, 2020. For any further clarifications, please contact your Premera provider service. Thank you to the Washington State Medical Group Management Association for providing this information. </p> <h3>Urge local legislators to support payment parity for virtual and audio visits</h3> <p> The Legislature has granted a brief extension - through Nov. 9 - of Gov. Jay Inslee's proclamation temporarily requiring telemedicine payment parity. While the WSMA was glad to see the proclamation extended, we continue to advocate for the policy to be extended through the end of the year, which is when the provisions of Senate Bill 5385, permanently requiring payment parity from state-regulated health plans, take effect. </p> <p> Similarly, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has extended its emergency order to health insurers expanding telehealth and other coverages until Nov. 13, including requiring all state-regulated carriers to permit and reimburse for care provided over non-HIPAA-compliant platforms, including video chat applications and telephones. </p> <p> We need you to act: Please write your local legislators and urge them to: </p> <ul> <li>Extend the governor's telemedicine parity proclamation through Dec. 31, 2020.</li> <li>Call on the OIC to extend its emergency telemedicine order for the duration of the public health crisis.</li> <li>Share how both video visits and audio visits benefit your patients. Once the Legislature convenes WSMA will advocate for further permanent expansion of telehealth parity, including the use of audio-only visits.</li> </ul> <p> <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/urge-your-state-lawmakers-to-support-telemedicine-payment-parity-policies/">Send a message to your legislators today</a>. </p> <h3>Don't forget to vote</h3> <p> Ballots for the general election on Nov. 3 are in the mail. As a reminder, online and mail registrations must be received eight days before Election Day on Oct. 26. At the end of every legislative session, the WSMA prepares a legislator "report card" to show how each legislator voted on WSMA's top-priority bills. Make sure to check out the <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/WAMPAC.aspx">2020 Legislator Report Card</a>, which includes bills from both the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions, while you are filling out your ballot to see how your local state legislators fared. </p> <p> In closing, please urge your patients to get their flu shots (and get one yourself). Facing a "twindemic" of flu plus COVID-19, WSMA has launched the Be Smart, Be Safe, Get Your Flu Shot campaign. The campaign is initially focusing on early vaccination, with <a href="https://www.yakimaherald.com/opinion/editorials/guest_editorials/guest-opinion-flu-combined-with-covid-19-could-mean-double-trouble-for-many-patients/article_ee0e4545-9d8a-53f4-835f-1dca1804e916.html">several</a> <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/flu-or-covid-19-dont-guess-this-fall-get-your-flu-shot/">op-eds</a> and <a href="https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/sep/18/providers-public-health-officials-stress-the-impor/">news stories</a> published, and a partnership with the Department of Health to offer patient awareness materials (in English and Spanish) for immunization partners to promote through their own communication channels. The WSMA has also been working with the DOH to alert practices on the availability of additional adult flu doses available this year for un- and under-insured individuals. It's not too late to enroll to receive these doses for your practice or clinic. Visit our new flu webpages at <a href="[@]flu">wsma.org/flu</a> to learn more, and to find resources to help your practice get the word out on the importance of getting vaccinated. </p> <p> In the coming weeks, we'll introduce new PSAs on the topic and we're continuing to work on getting media traction in communities throughout the state. More to come. </p> <p> With that, I'll conclude by sending warm wishes to you all here at the start of fall, and a heartfelt thank you to the extraordinary work you all do every day on behalf of Washington's patients. We are all in this together - and it is our unity that gives us strength. It's from that deep well that I draw courage, compassion, and hope, and I hope you do as well. Thank you </p> </div>10/16/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
covid_19_financial_relief_updateCOVID-19 Financial Relief UpdateLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201008/covid_19_financial_relief_update<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/May/COVID-19-financial-relief-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="COVID-19 Financial Relief graphic" /> </div> <h5>October 8, 2020</h5> <h2>COVID-19 Financial Relief Update</h2> <p> New Provider Relief Funds are now available to more physicians - including those who have already received payments. In other news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has provided updates to MIPS program exceptions, and the deadline for repaying Medicare's advance payments has been extended. </p> <h3>New $20 billion Provider Relief Fund disbursement now available</h3> <p> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that $20 billion in new funding will be available for physicians and providers on the front lines of the pandemic. The application period for eligible practitioners is now open, and will extend through Friday, Nov. 6. </p> <p> Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, physicians who have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. HHS is making a large number of previously ineligible physicians and providers eligible for Phase 3 General Distribution funding, including: </p> <ul> <li>Those who previously received, rejected, or accepted a general distribution Provider Relief Fund payment. Physicians who have already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care may submit more information to become eligible for an additional payment.</li> <li>Behavioral health physicians and providers, including those who previously received funding.</li> <li>Physicians and other health care providers who began practicing Jan. 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, dentists, assisted living facilities, and behavioral health practitioners.</li> </ul> <p> HHS is recommending that you apply early; do not wait until the last day or week of the application period. Applying early will help to expedite the review process and payment calculations, and ultimately accelerate the distribution of all payments. For more information on the methodology and application process, the full press release can be found <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/10/1/trump-administration-announces-20-billion-in-new-phase-3-provider-relief-funding.html">here</a>. </p> <h3>CMS provides two exceptions to meeting MIPS program requirements</h3> <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is providing two opportunities to apply for exceptions to meeting its Merit-based Incentive Payment System program requirements: </p> <ul> <li>The <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/exception-applications#extremeCircumstancesException-2020">Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception</a>, which allows you to request reweighting for any or all performance categories if you encounter an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance or public health emergency, such as COVID-19, that is outside of your control.</li> <li>The <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/exception-applications#promotingInteroperabilityHardshipException-2020">MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception</a>, which allows you to request reweighting specifically for the Promoting Interoperability performance category if you qualify for one of the listed reasons.</li> </ul> <p> Both application windows are open through Dec. 31. For more information, visit Medicare's <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/mips/exception-applications">Quality Payment Program webpage</a> and the 2020 Quality Payment Program exception applications <a href="https://qpp-cm-prod-content.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/1054/2020 MIPS Exception Applications Fact Sheet.pdf" target="_blank">fact sheet</a>. </p> <h3>Medicare Advance Payment Program repayment deadline extended</h3> <p>Under a new congressional resolution, recoupment of Medicare advance payments will not begin until 365 days after the payment was issued, with the balance due by September 2022. It also reduces the per claim recoupment amount from 100% to 25% for the first 11 months and then 50% for an additional six months. If not repaid in full by September 2022, interest payments will be imposed, however the interest rate has been lowered from 10.25% to 4%. The WSMA continues to advocate to Washington's congressional delegation and CMS to not subject practices to repayment or recoupment.</p> </div>10/8/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
new_playbook_outlines_next_steps_for_state_covid_19_responseNew 'Playbook' Outlines Next Steps for State COVID-19 ResponseLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201008/new_playbook_outlines_next_steps_for_state_covid_19_response<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/August/COVID_Virtual_Grand_Rounds_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Virtual Grand Rounds graphic" /> </div> <h5>October 8, 2020</h5> <h2>New 'Playbook' Outlines Next Steps for State COVID-19 Response</h2> <p> This week saw the release of Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, MD's COVID-19 Pandemic Health Response "Playbook," a compendium of recommendations intended to guide the state's COVID-19 response efforts over the next six to 18 months. The recommendations were developed by partners from the public and private sectors, including the WSMA. </p> <p> The playbook's guidance was based on the health crisis response work undertaken this summer under the leadership of Dr. Bono and builds on the foundational work described in the COVID-19 Health System Response Management dossier presented to Gov. Jay Inslee on May 29. Recommendations cover: </p> <ol> <li>Acquisition and equitable distribution of personal protective equipment.</li> <li>Establishment of timely, statewide COVID-19 testing.</li> <li>Preparation for an anticipated fall surge of both COVID-19 and influenza infections.</li> <li>Optimization of Washington Healthcare Emergency and Logistics Tracking Hub (WA HEALTH) capabilities.</li> <li>Leveraging the positive stakeholder relationships established with the health care sector and other industries.</li> </ol> <p> The playbook is now under review by Gov. Inslee for his endorsement. Download "<a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Newsletters/2020/COVID-19 Recommendations_October2020.pdf]">COVID-19 Pandemic Health Response Recommendations</a>" for details - or skip reading the 150-page document and listen in to the following special webinar to get the lowdown. </p> <h3>Staying Open, Staying Safe: Washington State's COVID-19 Public-Private Collaborative</h3> <p> Get the inside scoop on Dr. Bono's playbook: Join us for this free CME webinar next Wednesday, Oct. 14 from noon - 1:15 p.m. This next session in our COVID-19 Virtual Grand Rounds webinar series will feature Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare - and one of the key leaders in the drafting of Dr. Bono's playbook - and David Carlson, DO, chief physician officer of MultiCare. These session presenters will outline the public-private collaborative's recommendations for PPE strategic sourcing and distribution, as well as COVID-19 testing, tracking, tracing, and data management. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢</em>. WSMA members can <a href="[@]Shared_Content/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CGR101420">register for the webinar online</a>. </p> </div>10/8/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_successfully_concludes_historic_first_virtual_house_of_delegatesWSMA Successfully Concludes Historic First Virtual House of DelegatesLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20201008/wsma_successfully_concludes_historic_first_virtual_house_of_delegates<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/October/2020-AM-Speakers-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="2020 WSMA Annual Meeting Speakers" /> </div> <h5>October 8, 2020</h5> <h2>WSMA Successfully Concludes Historic First Virtual House of Delegates</h2> <p> Over the last weekend of September, more than 150 physician and physician assistant delegates, representing the full spectrum of organized medicine in Washington state, met virtually to determine policy, elect leaders, and conduct the business of your state medical association. Despite the technical challenges of translating parliamentary procedures into a new virtual environment, the two-day meeting was a success - and a historic first for the association. </p> <p> Like the 2019 House of Delegates, this year's annual meeting saw many new policies adopted by delegates - more than 30 new policies and 17 directives to take action. These final actions continue to reflect an activated House dedicated to making bold, proactive policy to improve the health and welfare of Washingtonians, with particular attention paid to racism and equity in the delivery of patient care and within the profession. For details, download the Official Actions of the 2020 WSMA House of Delegates, <a href="[@]WSMA/About_Us/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/WSMA/About/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/House_of_Delegates.aspx?hkey=e2c50002-384d-4ff7-9116-5ce7a51116e7">available from the WSMA website</a>. </p> <p> Visit the <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">meeting webpage</a> to enjoy videos of key moments of the 2020 WSMA Annual Meeting. And be sure to save the date - the 2021 WSMA Annual Meeting will take place at the Westin Bellevue Hotel on Sept. 25-26, 2021. </p> </div>10/8/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
senator_becker_receives_legislator_of_the_year_award_from_wsmaSenator Becker Receives Legislator of The Year Award from WSMALatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/senator_becker_receives_legislator_of_the_year_award_from_wsma<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>Oct. 7, 2020</h5> <h2>Senator Becker Receives Legislator of The Year Award from WSMA </h2> <p>SEATTLE - Senator Randi Becker (R-Olympia) has been named 2020 Legislator of the Year by the Washington State Medical Association for her longstanding partnership with the physician community and her efforts to expand access to care through telemedicine services. The state senator was honored during a reception held by the association's political action committee, WAMPAC, on Tuesday, Oct. 6. </p> <p>Each year the WSMA, the largest professional physician organization in the state, honors a legislator whose knowledge and influence help to make Washington one of the best states in the nation to practice medicine and receive care.</p> <p>“Senator Becker’s leadership in the Legislature has helped make our state a leader in the proliferation of safe, effective, virtual care,” said WAMPAC Chair and WSMA Past President Nick Rajacich, MD. </p> <p>Highlights of Becker’s accomplishments during recent legislative sessions include sponsoring bills that: </p> <ul> <li>Established telemedicine payment parity (requiring a health care service provided through telemedicine to be reimbursed at the same rate as the equivalent in-person service). As the state implemented a stay-at-home order to help flatten the pandemic’s curve, this 2020 bill provided a lifeline for vulnerable patients and physician practices. </li> <li>Established a telemedicine training requirement for non-physician practitioners. </li> <li>Clarified where a patient may be to receive “in-home” telemedicine services. </li> <li>Established the Telemedicine Collaborative to provide recommendations to the Legislature on issues of quality, practice, and payment for services. </li> <li>Allowed for physicians using telemedicine to be reimbursed (prior to this 2015 bill, state law did not require insurers to reimburse for these services). </li> </ul> <p>“Senator Becker’s staunch advocacy has left physicians and patients much better prepared for the rapid shift to telemedicine services as a result of the pandemic,” said John Scott, MD, medical director for digital health at UW Medicine and WSMA member. </p> <p>With a background in the medical field, Becker has been especially mindful of the physician perspective and has helped shepherd these and other health policy bills of relevance to the WSMA during her time in the Legislature. Sen. Becker has announced she will retire after finishing out her current term.</p> <p>“Senator Becker’s advocacy for the physician community is unparalleled and her ingenuity and keen insights will be deeply missed at the state Capitol,” said Dr. Rajacich. “With this award, we celebrate not only her important work over the past year, but her career in the Washington State Senate.” </p> <p><em>Download a <a href="http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Senators/PublishingImages/becker.jpg">print-ready photo of Sen. Becker</a></em>.</p> <p> For more information, contact: </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Associate Director of Communications<br /> Washington State Medical Association <br /> 206.329.6851 (cell/text)<br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>10/6/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
gig_harbor_emergency_physician_named_president_of_wsmaGig Harbor Emergency Physician Named President of WSMALatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/gig_harbor_emergency_physician_named_president_of_wsma<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>September 29, 2020</h5> <h2>Gig Harbor Emergency Physician Named President of WSMA</h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - Gig Harbor physician <strong>Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP</strong>, was named president of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) at the association's annual meeting on Sunday, Sept. 27. The WSMA represents physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians, and medical students throughout Washington state. </p> <p> Dr. Schlicher is an emergency medical physician at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and serves as the regional director of quality assurance for the emergency departments of CHI Franciscan and associate director of the TeamHealth Litigation Support Department. </p> <p> He received a law degree (2002) followed by a medical doctorate (2006) from the University of Washington in Seattle before completing a residency in emergency medicine at Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, with board certification in emergency medicine. In 2016, Dr. Schlicher completed a master's in business administration with an emphasis in health care. </p> <p> In his role as legislative affairs chairman of the Washington State Chapter of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Schlicher, with support from the WSMA, launched an "ER is for Emergencies" campaign that successfully shifted behavior and perceptions about seeking care in the emergency room. Since joining the WSMA's executive committee in 2015, Dr. Schlicher created "Better Prescribing, Better Treatment," a WSMA-led safe prescribing initiative with more than 20,000 prescribers in 50+ health systems that has resulted in a 40% reduction in acute prescriptions above guidelines since early 2018. </p> <p> Dr. Schlicher has received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in his community and across organized medicine. Recent honors include the Catholic Health Association's Tomorrow's Leader Award (2020), Puget Sound Business Journal's "40 under 40" (2019), and the William O. Robertson Patient Safety Award from the WSMA (2018). </p> <p> The following physicians were also elected as officers at the meeting: <strong>Mika Sinanan, MD, PhD</strong>, Seattle surgeon, president-elect; <strong>Katina Rue, DO</strong>, Yakima family physician, 1st vice president; <strong>Nariman Heshmati, MD</strong>, Mukilteo OB-GYN, 2nd vice president; and <strong>John Bramhall, MD, PhD</strong>, Seattle anesthesiologist, secretary-treasurer. The sixth officer of WSMA's executive committee is past-president <strong>William K. Hirota, MD</strong>, Tacoma gastroenterologist, who will serve as committee chair. </p> <p> WSMA members newly elected to its board of trustees included: <strong>Bridget Bush, MD</strong>, Anacortes anesthesiologist; <strong>Andrea Carter, MD</strong>, Moses Lake family medicine physician; <strong>Amish Dave, MD</strong>, Seattle rheumatologist; <strong>Rasheed Durowoju, MD</strong>, Seattle internal medicine physician; <strong>Leah Geyer, MD</strong>, Seattle internal medicine physician; <strong>Erin Hegarty</strong>, Spokane medical student; <strong>Matthew Uhlman, MD</strong>, Yakima urologist; and <strong>Liam Yore, MD</strong>, Everett emergency medicine physician. </p> <p><em>Download <a href="http://takeaction.wsma.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/antx6618_photoedited_by_ab-scaled.jpg">a print-ready photo of Dr. Schlicher</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Watch <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">Dr. Schlicher's inaugural speech</a> as the 2020-2021 WSMA president.</em></p> <p> For more information, contact: </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Associate Director of Communications<br /> Washington State Medical Association <br /> 206.329.6851 (cell/text)<br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>9/29/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
washington_state_medical_association_recognizes_member_physicians_others_for_exemplary_serviceWSMA Recognizes Member Physicians, Others for Exemplary ServiceLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/washington_state_medical_association_recognizes_member_physicians_others_for_exemplary_service<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>September 29, 2020</h5> <h2>WSMA Recognizes Member Physicians, Others for Exemplary Service</h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - Twelve physician members, one medical student member, and one health care organization have been recognized by the Washington State Medical Association for going above and beyond the call of duty in leadership, contributions, and service to medicine. The recognitions were part of the medical association's Apple Awards program, and the awards were presented during the 2020 WSMA Annual Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 26. </p> <p> Recipients of the 2020 Apple Awards included: </p> <p> <strong>Kathy Lofy, MD</strong>, Kirkland epidemiologist and pediatrician, received the President's Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the WSMA member who offers extraordinary service to the profession to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. As the state health officer and chief science officer at the Washington State Department of Health, Dr. Lofy is one of a handful of people at the helm of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. </p> <p> <strong>Darin Neven, MD</strong>, Spokane emergency medicine physician, received the Community Advocate Award, which recognizes a member of the community who provides extraordinary support to, and advocacy for, the house of medicine. Dr. Neven is the founder of Consistent Care in Spokane, whose work with patients with complex care needs serves as a standard across our state. </p> <p> <strong>Vera Schulte</strong>, Seattle medical student, received the Early Career Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a WSMA member for their service to the association's early career members (physicians in their first 10 years of practice, resident physicians, and medical students). Schulte is a fourth-year medical student at University of Washington School of Medicine and has been a passionate voice for students in her role as chair of the WSMA's Medical Student Section. </p> <p> <strong>The Everett Clinic</strong> received the Wellness Award, a new award in the Apple Awards program that recognizes an organization that has worked to put the joy back in medicine for Washington physicians. The Everett Clinic was honored for its efforts to improve professional fulfillment and reduce burnout at their organization. </p> <p> Three WSMA members received the Grassroots Advocate Award, which recognizes their advocacy efforts and activities supporting WSMA legislative priorities. They include: </p> <p> <strong>Jeff Duchin, MD</strong>, Seattle epidemiologist and infectious disease physician and public health officer for Seattle-King County, for his expertise and leadership during COVID-19; <strong>John Scott, MD</strong>, Seattle allergy and infectious disease physician, Harborview Medical Center, for his support of WSMA's efforts to achieve telemedicine payment parity during the pandemic; and <strong>Donna Smith, MD</strong>, Seattle pediatrician, Virginia Mason, for her help in persuading the Legislature to extend COVID-19 proclamations supporting physicians and health care. </p> <p> Seven WSMA members received the William O. Robertson, MD, Patient Safety Award, which recognizes initiatives or advocates for patient safety. The following infectious disease physicians were honored for their efforts responding to the pandemic: <strong>Chris Baliga, MD</strong>, Virginia Mason, Seattle; <strong>Peter Hashisaki, MD</strong>, Overlake Medical Center & Clinics, Bellevue; <strong>John Lynch, MD</strong>, UW Medicine, Seattle; <strong>John Pauk, MD</strong>, Swedish Center for Comprehensive Care, Seattle; <strong>Francis Riedo, MD</strong>, EvergreenHealth, Kirkland; <strong>Olympia Tachopoulou Stafford, MD</strong>, CHI Franciscan, Tacoma; and <strong>Danielle Zerr, MD</strong>, Seattle Children's. </p> <p> "Just as the apple represents good health, these individuals and organizations represent exemplary efforts to protect and preserve the health of Washingtonians, all the more extraordinary given the unimaginable difficulties they have faced," said WSMA's outgoing 2020 president, William Hirota, MD, who presented the awards during the association's virtual meeting. "We are truly grateful for their service to medicine." </p> <p><em>Watch <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">the presentations of the 2020 Apple Awards</a>.</em></p> <p> For more information, contact: </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Associate Director of Communications<br /> Washington State Medical Association <br /> 206.329.6851 (cell/text)<br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>9/29/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_29_2020_a_beacon_of_light_in_the_darknessWeekly Rounds: September 29, 2020 - A Beacon of Light in the DarknessLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_september_29_2020_a_beacon_of_light_in_the_darkness<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Newsletters/Weekly%20Rounds/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-Schlicher-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>September 29, 2020</h5> <h2>A Beacon of Light in the Darkness</h2> <p> <em>On Saturday at the virtual 2020 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates, we inaugurated our incoming president, Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD. For those of you who couldn't be with us, we wanted you to have the opportunity to read an amended version of his speech, so he is our guest columnist this week for Weekly Rounds. You can also watch a video of <a href="https://vimeo.com/461645025">Dr. Schlicher's speech here</a>.<br /> - Jennifer Hanscom, WSMA CEO</em> </p> <p><strong>Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, WSMA 2020-2021 incoming president's speech, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.</strong></p> <p> Good morning colleagues and friends. It is a privilege to serve as your president of the Washington State Medical Association. I am honored to assume the post from my friend Bill Hirota and all the WSMA presidents with whom I’ve worked over the past nine years. </p> <p> In 2009, when I joined the WSMA as a newly minted emergency medicine physician, we were mired in the Great Recession. It seemed an inhospitable place for a young doctor as there were few jobs, existential threats of governmental regulation, and of the march of corporatization in health care. </p> <p> Those were uncertain times. </p> <p> But this year we faced a threat not seen for a hundred years. The coronavirus pandemic upended the practice of medicine and the broader world in unimaginable ways. Where we once happily gathered at concerts and theme parks, we now socially distance. Where we once shared hugs, smiles, and handshakes, now our facial expressions are masked. In a time when Snapchat and text messaging are preferred modes of communication, COVID compounded our isolation, increasing the distance between us, and eroding personal connections. And as COVID took so much away, it left many of us wondering where the light had gone. </p> <p> When the darkness overwhelmed the nation—it was health care heroes, physicians and nurses who stepped up to care for those in need. We provided care, we held the hands of the dying, we answered the call of our profession, in spite of the risk we faced. </p> <p> To all of you let me say this: Well done, heroes! In those moments of great challenge, I hope fear was met with hope and a sense of purpose. </p> <p> Now it’s time to look ahead. I see four key things that will make a difference in our future, and with WSMA’s help, we can make it happen. </p> <p> First, if we take anything from this pandemic, it’s that physicians must lead our health care system. As Peter Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” We have too much management and not enough leadership in health care today. </p> <p> Physicians can serve in administration, while also working clinically. We can be both CEO and physician, medical director and doctor, CMO and practitioner. More than 50% of us are now employed by large groups—now is the time for the employed to lead. </p> <p> Here’s an example—during the early days of COVID, the medical executive committee met to discuss how to face this epidemic. A physician shared the challenges and fears his team faced as they wrestled with caring for their patients, while striving to keep their families safe. He described a plan to open tents, eliminate hallway beds, and encouraged cancelling of surgeries to make the space he needed to combat a pandemic. </p> <p> But the ever-present business impact of such decisions overrode the innovation. A non-physician leader noted the idea would be taken under consideration, but in that moment the feeling in that room was clear, we were not essential, we were expendable. </p> <p> That kind of thinking demonstrates perfectly the “iceberg of ignorance.” If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s a knowledge gap study that reveals the higher up you are on the leadership ladder, the less you know. </p> <p> Physicians must lead the future and straddle the chasm of ignorance from the front line to the C-suite. Through the WSMA you can make this a reality by attending our Center for Leadership Development programming that promotes leadership development, governance education, and courses to help train the future generation. You are already leaders by being here today with the WSMA, but lets not stop here. Let’s take it to the top! </p> <p> Second: As we lead, let’s care for those we lead. An emergency physician who survived a near suicide event said: “When we witness trauma and death among the innocent, a little piece of my soul died. We’re never offered counseling and in the end, you get the jaded emergency doctor who struggles to care. My psychologist says it wasn’t just the last girl. It was trauma after trauma after trauma.” </p> <p> Like you, the patients I have lost remain with me. I can still close my eyes and feel room #12 where Haley died. I was a brand-new attending, three months out of residency, full of confidence, ready to conquer the world in another pandemic, the H1N1 pandemic. I remember intubating her while pulmonary edema filled her lungs and obscured my view, but I managed to sneak the tube in near blind. The cheers of the nurses faded as I saw her heart rate drop from 180 to 60. Her pulse was gone. I well remember those three hours, on and off again coding her, talking to her mom in the hall as she sat motionless in a hard-plastic chair, texting family on her old flip phone. We would get her to Mary Bridge for ECMO, but she would never make it, arresting one last time upon arrival. To this day, 12 years into my practice, it still brings tears to my eyes. </p> <p> With this pandemic we’ve seen death on a scale not seen in decades. Add its risk to us, to our families, add the moral injury of what we’re facing, and the stress on physicians is profound. Moral injury is the suffering people experience when we are in high-stakes situations, things go wrong, and harm results that challenges our deepest moral codes and ability to trust in others or ourselves. The harm may be something we did, something we witnessed, or something that was done to us. It results in moral emotions such as shame, guilt, self-condemnation, outrage, and sorrow. </p> <p> It is the type of sorrow and guilt that we know has resulted in the suicide death of colleagues, such as Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency physician in Manhattan. She was one of the dedicated front-line workers who put her own health at risk, having contracted COVID personally, but going back to work 10 days later to help, once more, caring for those in need. Despite her training, her leadership as a medical director, and her supportive family, she could not reconcile the world in which she worked with the world in which she wanted to live. Her story is tragically not unique. </p> <p> We can’t simply yoga our way out of this problem. The WSMA is working hard to combat the epidemic of burnout and moral injury. We are pushing for real change by looking at the drivers of the problem. Administrative simplification and easing the work of running a practice remains a high priority of our Olympia team. The WSMA Foundation is leading a wellness initiative with PDSA cycles to improve the practice of medicine. And when we take our rightful place as the leaders of our health system, we will be the drivers of change that builds a robust and holistic system that cares for its doctors as well as its patients. </p> <p> Third: As we lead our way into a healthier future, we must reinvigorate passion for professionalism. When I started law school, our civil law professor, standing in the deep well of the auditorium of new 1L students, spoke in the deep baritone of professors past about the three learned professions: religion, law, and medicine. He noted how each held an important role not just because of the job they did, but because of their leadership in the community and the example they set through their actions. </p> <p> Each of the professions cared about the forgotten before themselves, seeking to serve rather than be served. They cared for parts of the human condition: the body (medicine), the soul (religion), and society (law). I believe that medicine has the power, and obligation, to work on body, soul, and society. </p> <p> I’m disillusioned with many in our profession when I see what they write on social media or how they speak to a colleague with whom they disagree. Civil discourse has gotten lost. We’ve become subject to the echo chamber effect of politics, religion, and science denialism. </p> <p> As the learned profession of medicine, we should be able to discuss the challenges of racism and acknowledge the differential experience of our African American colleagues, patients, and citizens, while respecting that most police officers are good people doing hard work in a challenging environment, as are we. As physicians we should be willing to speak about the increasing economic disparity in our communities and the risk it poses to our patients if they cannot afford care even while working two jobs. </p> <p> The WSMA is a beacon of civility in an uncivil world. Our Olympia efforts are not flashy, making threats or big burns in testimony. We do not rage or tweet against a bill, no matter how much it upsets us (can you say: naturopath scope of practice?). </p> <p> We will continue that standard of educated dialogue and reflect well on our profession. We will advocate to address the social determinants of health including racial disparities this year by supporting a Health Equity Continuing Medical Education Program. We will, with your approval today, start a Latinx Section in the WSMA to increase the representation of Latinx members and give a new conduit to their voice. </p> <p> If we are going to heal a divided nation that is far too isolated, we must lead through our actions together. I hope today as we discuss some of these challenging resolutions we will rise to that occasion as the first step on building a better future. </p> <p> Fourth: As we advocate for a more civil world, we must be scientists first. The American author Jim Butcher once wrote “The human mind isn't a terribly logical or consistent place. Most people, given the choice to face a hideous or terrifying truth or to conveniently avoid it, choose the convenience and peace of normality. That doesn’t make them strong or weak people, or good or bad people. It just makes them people.” </p> <p> In these times of COVID, it seems easier to accept illogical truths. I’ve been shocked to see physicians argue against masks, ignoring observational studies and mountains of historical evidence from other diseases. We’ve seen physicians trying to profiteer by minimizing the risk. Now there’s a neuroradiologist pushing debunked theories over the objection of the world class expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Others on the front lines have given in to fatalism, believing that there is nothing we can do to prevent the disease, so why even try? </p> <p> Physicians must help lead a course correction. We understand the scientific method that guides trial and error, the ethical standards that limit our ability to certain types of studies, and how to review the quality of source materials. The WSMA provides Continuing Medical Education and promotes valid science. We advocate for sound public policy like the elimination of the personal exemption from the MMR vaccine and support DOH rules on mandatory masking in schools. We continue to advocate for the health and welfare impacts of climate change and the social determinants of health. But it is imperative that we lead these conversations with our patients, organizations, and colleagues in an honest, respectful way. </p> <p> If we do not confront the half-truths and mistruths with compassionate advocacy, we give them room to grow and breed. </p> <p> So this… my mentor in life was a wily old Methodist preacher whom I met when he was 77 and I was 11. He never shied away from controversial topics, choosing to lead with compassion and respect. When he gave a controversial sermon at Seattle’s First United Methodist Church in the ’80s and received hundreds of letters from “Christians” who wrote some of the most vile language you could imagine, he responded to each of them with compassion and love. When I gave my first homily at 13 and upset a church member who demanded a swift rebuke of this young man, Big David graciously said all were welcome in the church and when they threatened to leave, he wished them luck on their journey. </p> <p> He led by example, giving generously to those in need and challenging his privileged congregation to host Seattle’s Tent City on their church grounds. When the neighbors complained, at the age of 85 he limped around in his Ultrasuede jacket and bicycle socks, knocking on their doors, inviting them to sit in the pews with those they had condemned. And when he died at the age of 94, his closing lines on his life were simple, “I love you, thank you, I love you.” </p> <p> Like David, we must step forward to lead our health system, with professionalism and compassion, seeking the wellness of those we serve, and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge. I believe when we rise to this calling and become the beacon of light and embrace our professionalism, we give our life’s work purpose. </p> <p> It is not easy, it is not simple. We must choose to care for our neighbors and go the extra mile. We must choose to lean into leadership rather than be led. I believe that our future is bright if we stand together, defend our trade, and reinvigorate our profession. </p> <p> This is my pledge because I love what I do as a physician and I love you for what you do to care for our neighbors. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> </div>9/29/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
doh_update_on_covid_19_vaccine_plansDOH Update on COVID-19 Vaccine PlansLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200924/doh_update_on_covid_19_vaccine_plans<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/May/COVID-19-Response-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="COVID-19 Response graphic" /> </div> <h5>September 24, 2020</h5> <h2>DOH Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Plans</h2> <p> As possible COVID-19 vaccine candidates move forward in testing, the Washington State Department of Health has provided an update outlining its plans for distribution of the vaccine, including prioritizing groups to receive it. </p> <p> While Washington was not one of the five federal regions chosen as a pilot for the CDC's planning, the state did receive an interim playbook for the lessons learned from the pilot projects. DOH is developing its plans based on those lessons and will return those plans to the CDC by Oct. 16. </p> <p> Because the supply of a coronavirus vaccine will be limited when it is approved and first released, the vaccine will not be offered to everyone. Prioritization will happen at the federal level first. Because there won't be a lot of vaccine available in the first round, the state will work on further prioritization. Health care workers are among the priority groups under consideration to receive the vaccine first. </p> <p> Vaccine distribution will adjust over time as the number of available doses increases, moving from limited to broader populations in a phased approach. </p> <p> The federal government will cover the cost of the coronavirus vaccine, although it is possible that health care providers may charge a fee to administer the vaccine, and/or for the cost of an office visit. Health insurance will most likely cover these fees. DOH will work with other state agencies to understand and address barriers related to health insurance coverage, and to make the vaccine accessible at no cost to people without health insurance. </p> <p> The full update from DOH is available at <a href="https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2020091149">this link</a> . </p> </div>9/24/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
staying_open_staying_safe_washington_states_covid_19_public_private_collaborativeStaying Open, Staying Safe: Washington State's COVID-19 Public-Private CollaborativeLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200924/staying_open_staying_safe_washington_states_covid_19_public_private_collaborative<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/August/COVID_Virtual_Grand_Rounds_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="COVID-19 virtual grand rounds graphic" /> </div> <h5>September 24, 2020</h5> <h2>Staying Open, Staying Safe: Washington State's COVID-19 Public-Private Collaborative</h2> <p> This next session in our COVID-19 Virtual Grand Rounds webinar series will feature Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare, and David Carlson, DO, chief physician officer of MultiCare, who will discuss the statewide public/private collaboration to address Staying Open, Staying Safe issues identified in Gov. Jay Inslee's Healthcare Reopening Proclamation 20-24.1. </p> <p> The goal is for the Washington health care system to remain 1) fully open and operating at all levels for all types of care, and 2) safe for both care givers and consumers of care. Session presenters will outline the public/private collaborative's recommendations for PPE strategic sourcing and distribution, as well as COVID-19 testing, tracking, tracing, and data management. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢</em>. WSMA members can register for the webinar <a href="[@]Shared_Content/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CGR101420">online</a>. </p> </div>9/24/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
survey_reveals_1_in_4_physicians_knows_a_physician_who_has_committed_suicideSurvey Reveals 1 in 4 Physicians Knows a Physician Who Has Died by SuicideLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200924/survey_reveals_1_in_4_physicians_knows_a_physician_who_has_committed_suicide<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/September/Physician-Suicide-Prev-Ribbon-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="physician suicide prevention ribbon" /> </div> <h5>September 24, 2020</h5> <h2>Survey Reveals 1 in 4 Physicians Knows a Physician Who Has Died by Suicide</h2> <p> The Physicians Foundation has released the results of a national survey, which finds that nearly one in four physicians (22%) knows a physician who has died by suicide and the majority (58%) express feelings of burnout. </p> <p> The survey, <a href="https://physiciansfoundation.org/research-insights/the-physicians-foundation-2020-physician-survey-part-2">COVID-19's Impact on Physician Wellbeing</a>, is the second in the Foundation's three-part series, 2020 Survey of America's Physicians, examining how COVID-19 is affecting and is perceived by the nation's physicians. </p> <p> In addition to the 22% of physicians who know a doctor who has died by suicide, findings from the survey include: </p> <ul> <li>Twenty-six percent of physicians know a colleague who has considered suicide and 15% know a colleague who has attempted suicide.</li> <li>Eight percent of physicians have had thoughts of self-harm as a result of COVID-19's effects on their practice or employment, with younger physicians reporting thoughts of self-harm at a higher rate than older physicians.</li> <li>Thirty percent of physicians cited feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose due to the changes of their practice or employment as a result of COVID-19.</li> <li>Seventy-eight percent cite a lack of population compliance with COVID-19 distancing and mask-wearing protocols as their number one source of frustration during the pandemic and 70% cite lack of reliable COVID-19 tests.</li> </ul> <p> The Physicians Foundation is helping to raise awareness of the epidemic of physician suicide through its Vital Signs initiative. Learn more about the initiative and the resources available to physicians on the <a href="https://physiciansfoundation.org/physician-wellbeing/vitalsigns/">Vital Signs website</a>. The WSMA is a signatory society of The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to empower physicians. </p> <p> If you or someone you know is struggling, the following resources that have been recommended to the WSMA by other physicians: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.physiciansupportline.com/">The Physician Support Line</a> is staffed by psychiatrists to provide free and confidential support to physicians on the COVID-19 front line.</li> <li>The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available at 1.800.273.TALK (8255), offers free 24/7 support.</li> </ul> <p> For more mental and physical health resources aimed at supporting clinicians during crises, visit the <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/COVID-19_Response/Care_for_the_Caregiver_During_COVID-19_Outbreak/WSMA/Resources/COVID-19/Care_for_the_Caregiver_During_COVID-19_Outbreak/care_for_the_caregiver_during_covid_19_outbreak.aspx?hkey=997ed483-e3fa-466e-bd81-a66e0fc1575b">WSMA website</a>. </p> </div>9/24/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_submits_final_comments_on_doh_draft_report_denying_psychologist_prescriptive_authorityWSMA Submits Final Comments on DOH Draft Report Denying Psychologist Prescriptive AuthorityLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200924/wsma_submits_final_comments_on_doh_draft_report_denying_psychologist_prescriptive_authority<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/September/Prescription-pad-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="prescription pad and pill bottle" /> </div> <h5>September 24, 2020</h5> <h2>WSMA Submits Final Comments on DOH Draft Report Denying Psychologist Prescriptive Authority</h2> <p> Earlier this month, the Washington State Department of Health released its <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/2000/PsyScopeSunrise-09-02-2020.pdf" target="_blank">draft report</a> regarding a proposal to add prescriptive authority (including all controlled substances) to psychologists' scope of practice. The DOH report found that the scope expansion proposal, submitted by the Washington State Psychological Association, did not meet its sunrise review criteria and therefore could not be supported by the agency. DOH concerns outlined in the report included educational requirements, lack of sufficient oversight, and problems with how prescriptive authority is defined. </p> <p> The WSMA has submitted <a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Newsletters/2020/WSMA psychololgy sunrise II_09172020.pdf]">final comments</a> supporting the DOH position and reaffirming our concerns with the scope proposal. Review our comment letter for details on our position. DOH will review all comments received on its draft report and determine if any changes need to be made. Once finalized, the DOH will submit its report to the Legislature. It will be useful if DOH's final recommendation aligns with our position, as sunrise reviews often serve as the basis for future legislation. </p> <p> We would like to thank everyone who submitted a comment on the initial proposal, as well as the updated draft. According to the draft report, DOH received 308 comments in opposition to the proposal to grant psychologists prescriptive authority. Two-thirds of those comments were from WSMA members reaffirming our concerns. Your expertise and experience provided DOH with invaluable feedback that is reflected in the draft report. </p> </div>9/24/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
physicians_brace_for_double_whammy_of_flu_and_covid_19_urge_patients_to_get_their_flu_shot_earlyPhysicians Brace for Double Whammy of Flu and COVID-19, Urge Patients to Get Their Flu Shot EarlyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/physicians_brace_for_double_whammy_of_flu_and_covid_19_urge_patients_to_get_their_flu_shot_early<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>September 21, 2020</h5> <h2>Physicians Brace for Double Whammy of Flu and COVID-19, Urge Patients to Get Their Flu Shot Early</h2> <p> SEATTLE - As Washington state continues its efforts to slow the spread of the novel respiratory virus SARS-CoV-2, physicians statewide are joining public health officials in raising the alarm of a potential deadly confluence of respiratory illnesses as flu season approaches. </p> <p> "Flu plus COVID-19 could cause combined challenges for both patients and our health care system," said Carrie Horwitch, MD, internal medicine physician at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, and a board member of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), representing more than 11,000 physicians and physician assistants statewide. "Plan now to get your flu shot—the earlier, the better." </p> <p> Physicians are uniting to send this simple yet urgent message: Getting a flu vaccine at the beginning of the fall respiratory illness season is an easy and safe way to reduce your risk of getting the flu and reduce your risk of needing flu-related medical care, which will conserve scarce medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. Health officials recommend getting your flu shot in September or October this year to help prevent a health system surge. </p> <p> "Flu and COVID-19 share similar symptoms," said Dr. Horwitch. "There could be an enormous strain on our ability to test, diagnose, and devote limited resources like hospital beds if both viruses are circulating unchecked." </p> <p> "Even with masks and physical distancing, viruses can be unpredictable. We need to remain vigilant and flu vaccination is one tool we have to help reduce disease," Horwitch said. </p> <p> Getting your flu shot not only protects you, but it protects others, especially those who are more vulnerable, including infants, seniors, and those with chronic medical conditions. "If more people get vaccinated early, this can significantly prevent the virus from spreading throughout the community," Horwitch said. </p> <p> "This is not the year to get complacent with the flu—or COVID-19," said William Hirota, MD, president of the WSMA. "So get your flu shot, keep wearing your mask, and keep social distancing." </p> <p> Flu shots are free for children and are covered through most insurance for adults. To find a flu vaccine near you, visit <a href="https://vaccinefinder.org">vaccinefinder.org</a>. </p> <p> For more information, contact: </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Associate Director of Communications<br /> Washington State Medical Association <br /> 206.329.6851 (cell/text)<br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>9/21/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_18_2020_your_voice_your_vote_it_all_mattersWeekly Rounds: September 18, 2020 - Your Voice, Your Vote - It All MattersLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_september_18_2020_your_voice_your_vote_it_all_matters<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>September 18, 2020</h5> <h2>Your Voice, Your Vote - It All Matters</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> As my middle son turns 18 on Monday, I can't help but wonder...where has the time gone? In some ways, it seems like only yesterday that instead of heading to the 2002 WSMA House of Delegates, I was on my way to Swedish to deliver my son. It's the only WSMA Annual Meeting I've missed in 24 years! </p> <p> Obviously, with the impact of COVID-19, this year's annual gathering will look different than years' past, as we move to an online meeting format. Even so, that hasn't tempered delegates' enthusiasm for discussing new policy at the WSMA. Thirty-eight resolutions will be debated during the annual meeting on Sept. 26-27. While only delegates can vote, all members are encouraged to share their opinions. You can do that in two ways: either by adding your comments to our password-protected <a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Virtual_Reference_Committees/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/virtual_reference_committees.aspx">virtual reference committees</a> or by participating in the online event. Be sure to <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx">register in advance</a> to gain access to the special meeting platform. </p> <p> In addition to resolutions, several reports also have been submitted for review. Some of the reports are internal to the association, others are from external stakeholders. All can be viewed in the Delegate Handbook at <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx">wsma.org/annual-meeting</a>. </p> <p> If you are a voting delegate, note that this year we are showcasing all candidates nominated for office. To be as well-informed as possible, I urge you to review their materials in advance, in addition to watching their video speeches which are available via the WSMA <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx">Annual Meeting webpage</a> (look under BOT Elections). The House of Delegates will vote on candidates for office on Sunday, Sept. 27 </p> <p> Speaking of candidates, as my soon-to-be 18-year-old comes of age on Monday, he will also gain the right to vote. I hope he will duly embrace his civic duty, research candidates that reflect his values, views, and desires for leadership, and cast his vote effectively. </p> <p> That's my hope for you as well! I encourage you to research who you plan to support. And remember, WAMPAC produced a legislator report card (downloadable <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/Legislative_Regulatory.aspx">here</a>) that can help inform you about how your state legislators voted on issues that impact the profession and patients. This information is key to your decision-making as you strive to elect representatives who support the house of medicine. </p> <p> WSMA's government affairs and policy team is also hosting an Advocacy Council meeting to provide updates on the legislative and campaign landscape at noon on Friday, Sept. 25. We're excited to be joined by Senate Democratic Leader Andy Billig and House Republican Leader JT Wilcox, who will provide their insights on all things 2020. We will also share an update on WAMPAC's campaign activities and preview how the election may impact WSMA's 2021 legislative priorities. </p> <p> The meeting will be held via Zoom and <a href="https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-NWTv-qpQAu6Sn8xU8dLsA">registration is required</a>. You will receive a confirmation email containing the Zoom information after completing the registration. </p> <p> Another way to help ensure that the profession has solid representation in the state Legislature is to support our political action committee. WAMPAC is the nonpartisan campaign arm of WSMA that builds relationships and connections between our members and their elected officials. The start of that connection is via a donation - whether a one-time donation or an ongoing commitment, we urge you to give today so that we can advance an advocacy agenda that bolsters the profession and improves patient care throughout Washington. Your contribution really does make a difference. I hope you'll consider <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx">joining the Diamond Club or contributing to our $20 for 2020 campaign</a>. </p> <p> At the congressional level, WSMA's priority race is Rep. Kim Schrier, the Issaquah pediatrician who's running for re-election for the first time. Rep. Schrier bested a crowded field in the primary election and has advanced to the general against a challenger who is not well-known; however, the 8th Congressional District is a swing district and the race will likely be close. Rep. Schrier needs the continued support of the physician community and has received contributions from the AMA's political action committee and several other physician organizations. You can support Rep. Schrier by visiting her <a href="https://www.drkimschrier.com/">campaign website</a>. </p> <p> In the 10th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Denny Heck, former Tacoma mayor Marilyn Strickland and current state House Rep. Beth Doglio are facing off in the general election. Rep. Doglio is married to WSMA member Dr. Eddy Cates. </p> <p> The governor's race is at the top of the ticket for statewide campaigns. Gov. Jay Inslee will go up against Loren Culp, a conservative Republican from Ferry County. In other statewide races of interest to WAMPAC, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler will be heavy favorites in the general election. And in the race for lieutenant governor, the aforementioned Denny Heck will face off against fellow Democrat Marko Liias in November. </p> <p> With all the unexpected events this year, there is a lot to consider as we all head to the polls on Nov. 3. If you have questions about anything related to campaigns or would like to get more involved, contact WSMA Government Affairs Director Sean Graham at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>. </p> <p> Most importantly, remember to vote early and get those ballots in the mail. Every vote matters! </p> </div>9/18/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
doh_to_host_flu_webinar_on_sept_23DOH to Host Flu Webinar on Sept. 23Latest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/September/doh_to_host_flu_webinar_on_sept_23<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/September/Flu-vaccine-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Flu vaccine patient" /> </div> <h5>September 17, 2020</h5> <h2>DOH to Host Flu Webinar on Sept. 23</h2> <p> Join the Washington State Department of Health on Sept. 23 for a webinar covering the 2020-2021 flu season. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit </em>(TM). CE credit is also available for non-physician health professions. </p> <p> <a href="https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3698746529489817359">Register for the webinar online</a>. </p> <p> The webinar will cover: </p> <ul> <li>Flu epidemiology</li> <li>Flu vaccine availability for the Childhood Vaccine Program</li> <li>Updated flu recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices</li> <li>Ordering flu vaccine in the Washington State Immunization Information System</li> <li>Information on flu communication and health promotion resources</li> </ul> <p> </p> </div>9/17/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
 

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